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New flight option for Stowe weekenders starting in Westchester by Tradewind Aviation for 2015-16

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Folks willing to pay $350 one-way for a flight to Stowe from Westchester, NY will have a new option for a ski weekend.  Fly to Stowe on Friday afternoon, fly back on Sun afternoon.  Frequent travelers can get a "commuter ticket booklet" that brings the cost down to $250 per one-way flight.  Tradewind Aviation is starting the shuttle service Nov. 24, 2015.  Apparently $27 million was spent on renovations at the Morrisville-Stowe County Airport to make the shuttle flight possible.

 

Second article includes a pic of the interior of the plane.  The flight takes about an hour.

 

http://www.flytradewind.com/tradewind-shuttle/northeast/stowe/

 

http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/november/tradewind-aviation-launches-first-scheduled-flight-stowe-over-30-years

 

"As with all Tradewind Aviation flights, the new route will offer the luxury and ease of a private charter, with reliable availability, no TSA security checkpoints at the airport, private gate entrance, exclusive FBO lounges, complimentary on-board snacks, drinks and checked baggage rolled into the cost of a single seat. Guests on Westchester/Stowe flights are invited to travel with ski equipment at no extra charge."

post #2 of 19
Given that this is a less than 5 hour drive according to Google Maps, I'm curious if this really makes much sense. I'd assume you need to get to the airport the standard two hours ahead of time, plus getting your baggage after getting off the plane. That makes the whole trip almost 4 hours and now you don't have your car there and are much more restricted on what you can bring with you. What's the target market here?
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 
Given that this is a less than 5 hour drive according to Google Maps, I'm curious if this really makes much sense. I'd assume you need to get to the airport the standard two hours ahead of time, plus getting your baggage after getting off the plane. That makes the whole trip almost 4 hours and now you don't have your car there and are much more restricted on what you can bring with you. What's the target market here?

 

 

That's not how private aviation works.

As they say,

 "no TSA security checkpoints at the airport, private gate entrance,"

 

I rode the corporate jet once when there were enough VP's going to get the jet but not enough to fill it.

It was very sweet.  It was completely separate from the main terminal complex.  Drive up to the door, the parking valet takes your car.  The plane leaves as soon as everybody is there.

 

When you are 30 minutes out, the pilot radios ahead and the parking valet or rental agent brings your car to the door.  Someone else puts your bags in the car, and off you go.

 

Now this service might not have quite that much personal service, but I bet it's close.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

 

 

That's not how private aviation works.

As they say,

 "no TSA security checkpoints at the airport, private gate entrance,"

 

I rode the corporate jet once when there were enough VP's going to get the jet but not enough to fill it.

It was very sweet.  It was completely separate from the main terminal complex.  Drive up to the door, the parking valet takes your car.  The plane leaves as soon as everybody is there.

 

When you are 30 minutes out, the pilot radios ahead and the parking valet or rental agent brings your car to the door.  Someone else puts your bags in the car, and off you go.

 

Now this service might not have quite that much personal service, but I bet it's close.

 

I've never flown a "private" plane, but years ago (pre 9/11) I did take a flight once where there was no real baggage checking. Instead you just handed your bag to the porter, went through security, then walked out to the plane. We left probably a half hour or 45 mins after I arrived.

 

And then when you got off the plane, you just waited there for a few minutes while they unloaded the bags, and grabbed yours once it was unloaded and left. I think the plane sat like 18 people, so no need for extensive baggage arrangements. It worked out great, and was definitely a lot faster since it was a small plane. 

 

I'm sure thiese Stowe flights are much better than that, in terms of service and since it skips security.

post #5 of 19

Tradewinds is great company. They been have flying Puerto Rico to St Barth for years.

If they can land in St. Barts they can land anywhere! (Google it)
 

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

 


That's not how private aviation works.
As they say,
 "no TSA security checkpoints at the airport, private gate entrance,"

I rode the corporate jet once when there were enough VP's going to get the jet but not enough to fill it.
It was very sweet.  It was completely separate from the main terminal complex.  Drive up to the door, the parking valet takes your car.  The plane leaves as soon as everybody is there.

When you are 30 minutes out, the pilot radios ahead and the parking valet or rental agent brings your car to the door.  Someone else puts your bags in the car, and off you go.

Now this service might not have quite that much personal service, but I bet it's close.

Yeah not sure how I missed that part when I skimmed it. Makes a lot more sense being setup as similar to a private charter. I saw shuttle service and imagined having to go through conventional processing.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Given that this is a less than 5 hour drive according to Google Maps, I'm curious if this really makes much sense.... What's the target market here?

Rather coincidentally, I was looking up how to get to Stowe while daydreaming about winning the current Rossignol drawing. There's no mention of this new service at http://www.stowe.com/plan/getting-here/, but it does include "Major carriers at Burlington International Airport include Continental Airlines, The Delta Connection, United Airlines, and US Airways." US Airways only officially went away last month, so that's kind of understandable, but no flights has operated as "Continental Airlines" for close to four years now. Based on how frequently/diligently Stowe maintains this portion of the website, I'd have to guess that not too many people actually fly to get to Stowe :)

post #8 of 19

I've met two or three people over the years on the lifts at Stowe who fly their private planes from the NY area up to Stowe.

 

Usually went like:

Me:  So, where are you from?

Them:  Long Island

Me:  Wow, that's a long drive...  how long does it take?

Them:  I fly up here

Me:  Oh, up to Burlington?

Them:  No, fly my private plane into Stowe airport.  I keep a car up here.

Me:  :eek

 

Ok!

 

I'm guessing there's not a huge market for this service, but I'm sure there's enough interest to make it viable.

 

As for the drive time, it's theoretically just over three hours from my office in the distant Boston 'burbs to Stowe, but it usually takes quite a bit longer then that.  Traffic getting out of Boston , weather, road conditions, etc.  I imagine real time from NY is a lot longer than five hours...  if you can swing the flight cost, it probably looks like a pretty compelling option.

post #9 of 19

They actually use Cessna Caravans and Single Turbo Prop Pleiades. Not quite private Jets.
They do this to keep the costs down. Nice leather interior though but not a Luxury Jet.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7n_Wf9o2I

post #10 of 19

Westchester airport is a smallish commercial airport located in a very affluent area.  There is a ready market nearby for this service.  

post #11 of 19

Stumbled on this thread.  While it's a couple months old, someone always is searching for info, so here's my input.

 

I ski at Stowe often (like twice last week).   I've also taken these "commuter" or "shuttle" small prop flights.  If you know me, you'll  also know I ski on the cheap, so keep that in mind.  But we all have the places we will compromise on and those we won't.  For me, I'd rather drive.  Here's why.

 

It's true you can drive into a small airport a half hour ahead of time, get rock star parking, often for free.  While no TSA, you may have to go through a metal detector.  But since the airport is small and the plane is small, there is never a line.  I love these flights for exactly those reasons.  So true, you can be there in an hour.  But then what?  Half hour ride from the airport (Morrisville) to Stowe, or at least Mountain Road.  How are you going to get around?  Can you rent a car at Stowe?  I don't think so, but I could be wrong.  Catch a cab or uber to your hotel?  Sure.  Now what?  Well, if you stay at the re$ort, that's fine.

 

Most people like me won't pay to stay at SMR.  I'd rather use that money for a good meal or another day's skiing.   Most  people stay on Mountain Road and then drive to the resort.

 

But what if you want to get around town?  Shop?  Eat out?  Go to the bars?  Well, there is a shuttle bus that runs up and down Mountain road, but not as often as you might imagine.  You'll need to stand at the roadside and wait a while on a cold, dark night.  While there are stores, bars and restaurants in town, you'll find a greater variety on Mountain Road, spaced non-walking-distance apart.  I suppose you can call a cab, but you'll be waiting a while even for that.

 

I outside Boston. It takes me about 3 hours to make it to a friend's home on Mountain Road.  Then again, I leave at odd times if I can.  Leaving a city on Friday at rush hour is a killer.  If you can flex your schedule, that is the right thing to do.  I know that a drive, let's say from Westchester takes 5 hours.  That savings worth something.  How much do you want to spend.

 

Now, regularly scheduled flights to Burlington.  It's about a 1 hour drive to Stowe from Burlington.  That's a 50-70 dollar cab ride one way.  However, you can rent a car in Burlington.  At that point you have a lot more flexibility, and you've got your commute down to about 2 hours plus the drive from your home to the airport.

 

With gas being priced 50% off over last couple of years, the cost of commuting is relatively small.    If it's just two of you, it may be worth the price to you.  If it's a family of five (like mine), the answer is obvious. 

 

Those are the pros and cons.  Juxtaposed against your preferences you come up with your own answer.

post #12 of 19
PC-12 is a helava nice plane.
The flight would be nice for an affluent second home owner, who's family stays in Stowe, while he/she commutes back and forth solo.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

I've met two or three people over the years on the lifts at Stowe who fly their private planes from the NY area up to Stowe.

 

Usually went like:

Me:  So, where are you from?

Them:  Long Island

Me:  Wow, that's a long drive...  how long does it take?

Them:  I fly up here

Me:  Oh, up to Burlington?

Them:  No, fly my private plane into Stowe airport.  I keep a car up here.

Me:  :eek

 

Ok!

 

I'm guessing there's not a huge market for this service, but I'm sure there's enough interest to make it viable.

 

As for the drive time, it's theoretically just over three hours from my office in the distant Boston 'burbs to Stowe, but it usually takes quite a bit longer then that.  Traffic getting out of Boston , weather, road conditions, etc.  I imagine real time from NY is a lot longer than five hours...  if you can swing the flight cost, it probably looks like a pretty compelling option.

 

I've never been to Stowe.  Drive from Long Island is just too much for a quick 2 or even 3 day trip.  From most points on Long Island it would be at least 6 hours, probably more like 6:30, 7 hours.  I shouldn't say too long for a 2 or 3 day trip but long enough that I haven't found the time to fit it in yet.

 

I could probably be at that Westchester airport in about an hour but then when you factor in car rental, lodging, etc.I rather just drive.

 

Next time you meet someone from the Vanderbilt or Rockefeller family from the Island who took their private jet up try and find out the next time they're going up and I'll try to be a Stoweaway...

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

PC-12 is a helava nice plane.
The flight would be nice for an affluent second home owner, who's family stays in Stowe, while he/she commutes back and forth solo.


Or given the SMR room price tag, they are targeting the Greenwich crowd.  Not like they need a lot of takers. 

post #15 of 19

Sorry, a lot of misconception around. 

 

I've flown in and out of small airports, and have friends who are pilots. (if you work for NASA, you run into a lot of "weekend worriors", ooops, I mean weekend pilots).

 

Just about every small airport has a car rental setup. There's no long line and hard sell on pre-paid gas or liability waiver bull. They know their clientele are relatively well off and have their own car insurance that will cover any damages. 

 

So the one item everybody thought was a big deal really isn't. You WILL have a rental car at the destination for a relatively small amount of outlay. That rental car will cost a lot less than your lodging or lift ticket. What's the point of saving $50 rental car when you're paying $350/pp???

 

For people who're flying to "get somewhere", the main cost is always fuel. It will cost more to fly 2 people to Stowe than drive there. But, time is money too.

 

Flying isn't just for the rich. (not for the poor either though) Owning a plane? Now, that's a different matter!  

 

While I won't be using that kind of service myself, I can understand the benefit. 

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post  (if you work for NASA, you run into a lot of "weekend worriors", ooops, I mean weekend pilots).

 

 

 

That's funny, I run into a lot of private pilots, that think they're astronauts. Some are now dead.

 

 

We have a nice little 1961 Piper Comanche and cost's aren't too bad.  We fly to a lot of little towns in the midwest/south for business.

But yes, my dream plane PC-12, would probably run about $500,000/year to own/fly.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post  (if you work for NASA, you run into a lot of "weekend worriors", ooops, I mean weekend pilots).

 

 

 

That's funny, I run into a lot of private pilots, that think they're astronauts. Some are now dead.

 

 

We have a nice little 1961 Piper Comanche and cost's aren't too bad.  We fly to a lot of little towns in the midwest/south for business.

But yes, my dream plane PC-12, would probably run about $500,000/year to own/fly.


General aviation — higher mortality rate than motorcycling.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by billskis View Post
 

Stumbled on this thread.  While it's a couple months old, someone always is searching for info, so here's my input.

 

I ski at Stowe often (like twice last week).   I've also taken these "commuter" or "shuttle" small prop flights.  If you know me, you'll  also know I ski on the cheap, so keep that in mind.  But we all have the places we will compromise on and those we won't.  For me, I'd rather drive.  Here's why.

 

It's true you can drive into a small airport a half hour ahead of time, get rock star parking, often for free.  While no TSA, you may have to go through a metal detector.  But since the airport is small and the plane is small, there is never a line.  I love these flights for exactly those reasons.  So true, you can be there in an hour.  But then what?  Half hour ride from the airport (Morrisville) to Stowe, or at least Mountain Road.  How are you going to get around?  Can you rent a car at Stowe?  I don't think so, but I could be wrong.  Catch a cab or uber to your hotel?  Sure.  Now what?  Well, if you stay at the re$ort, that's fine.

 

Most people like me won't pay to stay at SMR.  I'd rather use that money for a good meal or another day's skiing.   Most  people stay on Mountain Road and then drive to the resort.

 

But what if you want to get around town?  Shop?  Eat out?  Go to the bars?  Well, there is a shuttle bus that runs up and down Mountain road, but not as often as you might imagine.  You'll need to stand at the roadside and wait a while on a cold, dark night.  While there are stores, bars and restaurants in town, you'll find a greater variety on Mountain Road, spaced non-walking-distance apart.  I suppose you can call a cab, but you'll be waiting a while even for that.

 

I outside Boston. It takes me about 3 hours to make it to a friend's home on Mountain Road.  Then again, I leave at odd times if I can.  Leaving a city on Friday at rush hour is a killer.  If you can flex your schedule, that is the right thing to do.  I know that a drive, let's say from Westchester takes 5 hours.  That savings worth something.  How much do you want to spend.

 

Now, regularly scheduled flights to Burlington.  It's about a 1 hour drive to Stowe from Burlington.  That's a 50-70 dollar cab ride one way.  However, you can rent a car in Burlington.  At that point you have a lot more flexibility, and you've got your commute down to about 2 hours plus the drive from your home to the airport.

 

With gas being priced 50% off over last couple of years, the cost of commuting is relatively small.    If it's just two of you, it may be worth the price to you.  If it's a family of five (like mine), the answer is obvious. 

 

Those are the pros and cons.  Juxtaposed against your preferences you come up with your own answer.

 

For a large segment of the Stowe clientele, the time factor is far more an issue than expense. They frankly don't care if it's cheaper to drive. The ability to leave work on Friday and then be in Stowe for a late dinner, then ski til last chair and be back in NY for bedtime is the most important thing for them. These aren't people who are staying in hotels or renting condos for the weekend. These are people who own houses or condos on resort property, or in town. Most of those houses in Stowe Hollow and up on Edson Hill are vacation homes, many with a car or two sitting in the garage. I work with kids who live in the Boston area, and make the drive up every single weekend. Their families own houses, many are members of the Mountain Club. Metro Boston is at the ragged edge of feasibility for that every weekend type of thing when you're driving. But if you can fly without the hassle of a regular commercial flight, then NYC is well within the time range of that lifestyle as well. And when you're talking about that economic demographic, $500 per person every weekend to fly up is peanuts. 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

I guess the flights to/from Stowe were successful during the winter.  The schedule for the summer is also based on weekends, Fri-Sun.  Got a mention in a WSJ article in April.

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